It seems that every year as fall drops into winter several things come to mind. The birth of Jesus. Christmas. Cold weather. Family. Memories.
One of my favorite songs is “My Favorite Things” performed by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. The song was written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers in 1959. I was eight years old. The words made me think of my own favorite things. It still does.
I had no idea what schnitzel was when I first heard the song. It sounded good. The desert of west Texas and New Mexico isn’t famous for snow or mittens or winter melting into spring. My imagination wasn’t hampered, in fact, it has often run away with me. I can lose myself in dreams and desires with a dose of curiosity.
The first verse of the classic song begins with Raindrops on Roses, Whiskers on Kittens, Bright Copper Kettles, and Warm Woolen Mittens. Roses remind me of my mother’s flower beds and fragrant bouquets that welcomed me home from school. Kitten whiskers remind me of my first cat–a calico kitten I snuck home in an overnight case without permission. I was twelve. That kitten chose my “not having a cat in my house” Daddy as her person. Copper kettles remind me of the collection of kettles belonging to my aunt. Mittens remind me of the only really deep snow I ever experienced–except my mittens were Daddy’s socks.
Cream-colored ponies begin the second verse. All my life, since I was a toddler, I’ve been obsessed with horses. Don’t all little girls dream of ponies? I remain an unapologetic lover of horses. I don’t know what crisp apple strudel is, but I imagine it’s much like my mother’s apple pie. I wonder about schnitzel. If it has noodles, is it something like mac and cheese? The ding-dong of doorbells makes me think of Avon calling and the little lipstick samples. Sleigh Bells conjure up dreams of draft horses, sleighs, and warm fur blankets on the coldest nights. A sleigh ride remains in the top ten on my bucket list.
Desert or mountains, wild geese fly south for the winter. Their perfect V-shape dots a blue sky or crosses the full moon. It’s magical. How do they know where to go or when to leave? Why do they fly in a V formation? What would it be like to join them? Imagine being a girl in a starched white twirly dress decorated with a blue satin sash. It seems to be one of the surest ways to bring out the beauty of a genuine smile. And, that special princess feeling. Snowflakes that stay on noses and eyelashes. Amazing. I know what magic lies in catching snowflakes on your tongue. Do you remember cutting construction paper into shaped snowflakes? Every child in the classroom had a snowflake that looked different. Perhaps that was the lesson we were meant to learn. Winter melting into spring–what a beautiful image. Clean. Bursting with life. I’ve wondered what snow melt looks like from high atop mountains. Does it trickle through the rocks? Does it rush? Does it flood?
The chorus of My Favorite Things sums up the wonder of the song. “When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad”.
As December beckons winter and Christmas, what are your favorite things? Have you ever watched The Sound of Music? Have you ever heard the song “My Favorite Things”?
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas full of love and the beautiful satisfaction of giving from the heart.